I’ll spare the details of the entire story, and focus on her 3 visions. My mom was not much of a dreamer (as in dreams at night), but she knew of my connection to dreams, accepted dreams as a valid way God speaks to us today, and cheered me on in my ministry. A faithful servant of Jesus, she attended mainline churches (and eventually a Baptist church) and had never been instructed incorrectly that the prophetic gifts no longer exist.
My father died four years before my mother, and dreams, prophetic words, and supernatural events surrounded his death. They were essential guidance at the time (having led to his salvation), and they brought needed comfort to me as I let go of my hero, my dad.
MOM’S VISION #1
Some time after my father passed, my mother mentioned to me that she had experienced something that was so real that she was almost convinced that it wasn’t a dream. I knew that she was describing an open vision (while awake) or a night vision (while asleep).
In the vision, a gentleman stood at her bedroom door holding a beautiful bouquet of white roses to deliver to her. This was her favorite flower, the very type of flower she had held while marrying my father. She felt no fear of the man delivering the flowers (even though he had intruded into her home), and this didn’t seem strange to her at the time.
Meaning? By sending flowers, the Lord was expressing his deep love for her just as a suitor would. The vision displayed in a visual and personal way that Jesus had chosen her specifically, that He loved her, and that He wanted to be even closer to her, possibly to take her home to be face to face with Him— and with her husband.
My mom was already close to the Lord. She had known His presence since she could remember. As a young child, she had been in the care of loving grandparents on a simple farm in the Midwest. She carried memories of daily tending the garden with her grandfather who sang hymns to her in the coolness of the morning. Her relationship with her heavenly Father could be described the same as her general spirit could be described— dripping with authentic sweetness.
I can still hear her child-like voice as she prayed with me two or three times a day before meals in the weeks we spent together from time to time during those 4 years after she lived alone. “Thank you, thank you, thank you,” she would start… or, “Praise you, praise you, praise you.” If anyone deserved a floral delivery from God, it was her!
MOM’S VISION #2
Mom had another vision when she went to the hospital shortly before her unexpected death. She shared with me on the phone that as she lay in the hospital bed, she experienced beautifully textured envelopes which kept dropping downward and hitting her eyes— pure white in color, except for the two which were a shade of purple.
When she awoke startled with a nurse standing over her, she was so annoyed at the experience that in a tone out of character for her— she demanded the woman to please stop doing that!
This vision was prophetic of her immanent death. It was as if those who had gone to heaven before her (and would meet her at the gates) were sending invitations— sterile and clean because they had been made clean by the “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.”
This group from beyond the grave would soon be gathering at the pearly gates to greet her; and the invitations were like inviting a friend or family member to a grand gala.
Since purple symbolizes royalty, and since there were two purple invitations, these were symbolically sent from the Father and Son, also in Heaven calling for her arrival to this party.
I did not fully understand this at the time, but YOU understand it now! The last conversation I had with my mother was of the jewels she would be receiving in heaven, and how her consistent humility and faithful service to others would place her in the front row where she could, “Praise Him, praise Him, praise Him.”
MOM’S VISION #3
While lying in the hospital bed days later, the the next vision sent to her was of a very black-skinned man dressed in a red and purple sequined costume and standing at the threshold of the hospital door.
The use of a costume tells us that the figure was deceitful, evil; and that he was masquerading as someone else. Most likely, this spoke of someone close to her, currently in her life.
The color of one’s skin in a dream can represent a variety of things. If you are a dark-skinned person— and dream of someone dark-skinned— the coloring may be insignificant or literal. If you are light-skinned, the same applies.
However, if your skin is one type and a character in a dream is another type, this can be symbolic. I, for instance, often dream of Asian people; and they symbolize my African-American church family.
Like other colors, because white and black carry universal symbolism, the color of one’s skin in a dream can revert back to universal symbolism. Orange, for instance, universally represents persistence in the positive sense and danger or stubbornness in the negative. One reason is that God made fire orange.
White, then, both universally and biblically symbolizes purity, ““Come now, and let us reason together,” says the Lord, “Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool.”” (Isaiah 1:18)
This verse also speaks to the symbolism of red in the negative sense— identifying it with sin and the results of sin (like war and bloodshed).
In mom’s case, the man was a negative figure because he was masquerading as someone he wasn’t. So the red sequins depicted brazen (sparkling) power and battle, while the purple sequins spoke of authority— one using his authority for evil. Black, then, confirmed the negative theme of the vision. It was a warning.
Sure enough, my older brother, the sole trustee for mom’s estate, would bring deceit and war into the situation. Within days after mom’s death, the horror began— forged documents, missing records, stolen diamonds and jewelry, attempts to take over the real estate and whatever he could get away with from the inheritance. My other brother and I drew closer than ever as we discovered that our sibling precisely fit the profile of a sociopath— seeing humans (including his own mother) as only opportunities and targets for his own personal gain.
ONE MORE VISION
In the midst of this dreadfulness, I grieved at the loss of my mother and remained in her home to prepare it for sale. I wasn’t yet aware of the extent of the situation, though the fine jewelry had gone missing. The night after breaking my week-long fast, I experienced a ghastly vision.
While alone in mom’s guest bedroom, I saw something appearing very real. It was a night vision (an extremely realistic vision while asleep). Satan himself passed by the hallway… twice! Awakened startled, I took comfort in the fact that he passed; that is, the devil never crossed the threshold of the room I was sleeping in. But I was left with a sickening sense of the presence of evil.
Now as I look back on the disturbing year that followed, I can see something significant about that vision that I hadn’t noticed before. I was very angry that year, frustrated at the lack of justice served through the lawyers and justice system. I remember thinking at the time that if my younger brother and I didn’t get the kind of victory I was looking for, there was no purpose in living on.
But eventually that season passed, and the joy of life was restored to me. Satan had passed by me, just as in the vision. I hated his long battle with me, but the wicked one passed.
If, by the way, you are in the midst of such a time— where God has allowed the devil some room in your life— know that we are privileged to taste just a drop of what Jesus did as He suffered for us. “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.” (1 Peter 4:12-13)
VISIONS— SYMBOLIC OR LITERAL?
Some say that visions are to be taken more literally than dreams. As you can see, none of these visions were literal; they were symbolic, and brought messages through symbolism. Satan, for instance, didn’t literally pass by me in real life; he did so through my older brother.
So, as with dreams, consider possible symbolism with ALL types of visions before looking to a literal interpretation. I have personally experienced all of the types of visions listed in the above KEY and found symbolism in all of those types (though not in every vision I have experienced).
Inner visions are the first type I look for to be literal. My husband once saw an inner vision of me in a thrift store buying a pair of shoes. Not long after, I arrived home with the very shoes he had seen and from the very store.
I know from experience, however, that inner visions can be symbolic. Symbolic inner visions are my dominate mode of hearing God on behalf of others during prophetic ministry, and I have experienced hundreds of them. I might see a vehicle off-roading symbolizing the person ignoring God’s boundaries, for instance; or a scene on the beach representing a person’s closeness to things eternal.
My husband once told a man he was ministering to that he saw him “plugging up the middle.” After ministry, the man revealed that he was a football player, and his position was a center… plugging up the middle! I don’t know what Frank saw in his mind’s eye, but it wasn’t football.
Inner visions providing words of knowledge during prophetic ministry can definitely be literal. I might see someone in my mind’s eye as a teacher and soon find out that’s exactly what they do.
While holding services, Charles Spurgeon saw in his mind vivid and specific details about people in the audience. On one occasion for instance, this theologian and preacher interrupted his sermon to point out that a man in the gallery had a bottle of gin in his pocket, which led to the man’s conversion.
Night Visions, Open Visions, Trance Visions, Visions in Dreams
Concerning night visions, open visions, trance visions, and visions in dreams; let me make four points.
- • These types of visions may indicate that the Lord is speaking on a topic that is exceptionally important, or carries unusually long-term implications.
- • Consider that the types of visions experienced by Bible prophets were not always identified, and therefore could have been any of these. You may actually experience some of the same types as they did.
- •Though in my experience with these types of visions indicates that they are often symbolic, I don’t want to fail to note that some of the visions in the Bible are symbolic while others are literal.
- • Beware. Visions can be demonic. They have been used for important sinister purposes before, especially is misguiding people to deceive the masses through false religions or cults.
If you have experienced any of these types of visions, please share your experiences below (using more than one (100 word limit) posting. We’d love to hear of and learn from your experience!